Kenny Golladay’s 2020 season appears to be over. Detroit Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell said that Golladay will not be practicing on Thursday, and he’s not expecting to see him on Sunday, either.
“I don’t think that’ll happen this week,” Bevell said in regards to Golladay’s chances of playing against the Minnesota Vikings in their season finale.
Golladay will finish the year with just five games played, 338 yards and two touchdowns. This disappointing season comes just a year after leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns, putting up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and making his first Pro Bowl in 2019.
That all complicates his future in Detroit and beyond. Contract negotiations hit a snag sometime in 2019. Even though it appeared progress was being made, a deal was never agreed to. Now the Lions star receiver could be headed for unrestricted free agency if the Lions, and whoever their new general manager will be, can’t come to an agreement before the start of the new league year in March.
Golladay’s talent is hard to deny, but he’s now had some serious injuries that lingered beyond expectation. In his rookie year, a hamstring injury held him out for five games, and now this hip injury cost him half a season.
Golladay, for his part, has welcomed a return back to Detroit after this season is gone.
“I want to be here, like the city, like what’s going on,” Golladay said less than two weeks ago.
“They believed in me,” he continued. “And say, if a contract, if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, then I’ll go somewhere else and ball out and play. But like I say, I’m a loyal person and of course I want to be here. I started my career here.”
One option for Detroit that remains is the franchise tag. If the Lions believe Golladay is asking for too much in the long term, they could use the tag, locking him into a one-year deal. In 2020, that deal would have been worth $17.865 million, however that is expected to drop a little next year with the overall salary cap likely to decrease for the first time since the 2011 lockout.
Whatever the Lions plan to do with Golladay, the clock starts now.